Interview with Peter "Zupp3_" Jepsen

Peter "Zupp3_" Jepsen

Peter "Zupp3_" Jepsen is yet another successful player in the long line of Danish poker professionals. He recently won his first EPT tournament, but has been crushing the high stakes cash games long before that. We ask him what he thinks has made him successful and what skills a player needs to make it up to the highest stakes poker games on earth.

I would like to start by asking you how you got introduced to poker, and what did you like about it?

- I was stationed in Iraq for 7 months but was injured and sent home a few weeks before I was done there. Back home I was somewhat pacified, and wasn't getting my rush-need satisfied.

A few of my friends had started playing poker online and I was immideatly drivin towards it. I loved the rush and the feeling of winning.... I always hated team sports, as well as "sports" where the losers get rewarded. This was the opposite...

When moving up in level, did you have any help from other players, studying your game and made some input to it?

- I've had a lot of help... or rather I've helped myself a lot. I've always been good at absorbing information and input from others. When I started playing and moving up, I always tried to study those winning and those succeeding and simply tried to copy their style and combine it with my own feeling.

What skills do a good highstakes player need?

- It's so difficult to say, because all high stakes players are different. I think the most important thing is the winner-dna. Some people just WANT to win, at whatever cost. These people make great pokerplayers because they will keep on trying until they succeed. If it doesn't work in one way, they will try another way, and another, and another. Eventually you will find the right path.

Other good characteristics of HS poker players could be some kind og mathematical understanding... patience... self-control and self-esteem... and often overrestimated but not to be underrestimated... BALLS :)

How do you prepare yourself both before and while playing poker? (training, special music, etc)

- I work out to stay in balance physically. If I feel good about myself my reads and mental state is better suited for playing. Before big tournaments I stay away from big cashgames because I don't want to risk a nasty downswing.

Before big cashgames I usually just make sure that I've slept enough, eaten well and been drinking enough... and most importantly I make sure that nothing in my personal life is bothering me... beause that is the straight way to loose :)

Among the higher games online omaha has risen more and more to be, in the highest games maybe more popular than holdem, why do you think thats is?

- There are many reasons for this. First of all, when people climb the stakes they usually play gradually less games simultanously. If you play 5-10 you might play 8 games at the same time, but this wouldn't be recommendable at 200-400, since everyone is (or should be) better and more observant.

For this reason, when people play 200-400 or even 100-200 they often play only 1-2 games. When playing this "few" games NLH becomes somewhat boring, and Omaha is the more exciting choise, with more action. On top of this, luck has is a bigger factor in Omaha than in in Hold'em so it attracts the big fish and whales much more than hold'em.

Is it true that during the EPT tournament you were only put your tournament life on the line two occasions?

- Yes, this is actually true. In the EPT in Poland 2007, I was only ALL-in twice... One was with 5 tables left, and the last was when heads-up.

With the big success with the EPT last year, are you going to play more live events?

- I don't think so. I already played quite a lot of live events back then, but I like to combine online cashgames and live tournaments. I never play tournaments online, and rarely cashgames live. Works better the other way. I play 10-15 events a year and I don't think this number will go up anytime soon.

I guess there is alot of propbetting going around when you meet online rivals irl, do you have any particularly story to tell?

I've seen a lot of sick propbets but my problem is that I'm too smart, and people know it. So they never want to bet with me, because I basicly never did a bet I couldn't easily win. I guess I'm a nit. I have an ongoing bet with Mark Teltscher where we have to run 20KM on time. Winner is fastest one. He doesn't have a chance in life, so I was large and gave him 5-1 on a 5K bet. Actually he thought he was hustling me, so I guess I should practice that approach more. I also won $10K early in my poker-career on a math-bet, but it's kinda complicated and boring to picture it here :)

Besides poker do you have any other interests, like chess, soccer, dancing, getting drunk? ;)

Haha, I guess I'm kinda boring there... I never drink, not even coffee or tea. I rarely go out, but I love staying at home with my girlfriend and watch movies. I like working out a lot and then I play PC games :) I actually used to be on one of the best danish CS (Counter-Strike) teams. Played in the CPL (like EPTs, just for PC games) and geeked a lot!

We're making a new interview with Nebuchad next month and we know that you guys has become good friends, do you have any question you think we should ask him? ;)

- Ask him if he has ever been completely broke and in debt.

Finally what are your plans for the future? And where do you think the online poker will be in 5 years?

- My plans are to keep playing for as long as I feel like it's any fun (and I'm winning...hehe). I will be going to Poland to defend my title next week and after that it's San Remo and Monte Carlo. Then WSOP and after that... who knows.

In 5 years, poker will be even bigger than it is now... for sure.


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